The Washington Capitals have selected Ilya Samsonov of Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League with the number 22nd pick in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Samsonov put up respectable numbers in Russia’s junior hockey league this past season, where he grabbed a 2.66 goals against average and a .918 save percentage on the way to an 11-4-1 record. Although it was a brief stint, Samsonov has been tested in the pro leagues with Magnitogorsk of the KHL where he appeared in one period and faced four shots. The Russian goalie will take his time perfecting his craft overseas over the remainder of his three year contract in the KHL.
Coming into the Draft it was uncertain whether or not the Capitals would keep the number 22 pick. The Capitals have reportedly been searching for a top six forward and with a light free agent class their first rounder was rumored to be a lobbying piece. But instead the Capitals kept the pick and went with the Russian goaltender.
Outside of the first round the Capitals will pick four more times. The Capitals will not pick in the second round but will have the first pick of the third round at number 62 overall, then Washington will pick 113th overall in the fourth round, 143rd in fifth round and finally 173rd in the sixth round.
Eric received his BA in Journalism from California State University, Northridge. Eric has contributed to RinkRoyalty.com, Buffalowdown.com and California Rubber Magazine.